Notes from the AAFCS Meeting on Program Enhancement in
the Human Sciences/Family and Consumer Sciences

Views of Upper Administrators
Session Title: What Do Central Administrators Think about FCS?

AAFCS National Conference
Charlotte, NC
June 24, 2006

Participants on the Panel:

James Netherton, President
Carson-Newman College

Nancy Belck, Chancellor
University of Nebraska – Omaha

Virginia Caples, Former Provost and Former Interim President, current Director of Cooperative Extension
Alabama A & M University

James Netherton

  • We strive for excellence in education – what is good for our students.
  • The program must have a good fit with the university mission; there must be consistency in mission.
  • Private institutions cost more and have to deliver more.
  • The program and its faculty must be invested in the students, caring for students so that graduates increase the reputation of the institution.
  • The degree of competence and professionalism of the faculty in a discipline and in programs makes a difference.
  • Faculty must be good citizens of the institution, in addition to being good citizens of their disciplines and professions. Faculty should embrace an overall university perspective.
  • Graduates of the program should make our society a better society – as a nation and as a global society. They (not sure who he meant: graduates & or faculty) should be servant leaders in society.
  • Faculty should be a model for our students as to how they ought to live and work.
  • Faculty must exhibit a willingness to embrace change as higher education units.
  • We must teach our students to embrace change, while retaining those elements that are important.
  • Interdisciplinary work is valuable and valued. FCS tends to be a leader in this area.

Nancy Belck

  • There is a national dialogue on organization of FCS among public higher education administrators more than discussion of any other discipline because it crosses the arts and sciences.
  • Faculty should be concerned about public policy and improving the quality of life for others.
  • You must demonstrate the social and economic benefits of your programs.
  • You must be perceived as being worthwhile and contributing. Ask what value do we bring to the table?

Virginia Caples

  • The program must be enterprising, able to demonstrate accountability and the mission of the unit must be relevant.
  • Contents of programs must be cutting-edge and global.
  • National recognition is important.
  • Faculty productivity is key in the eyes of upper administration.
  • FCS administrators must be:
    • Articulate, persuasive, commanding and unshakeable. They must have passion and vision that is supported by all FCS faculty and staff.
    • Able to provide fact-based evidence of why and how our programs impact society and serve the greater good.
    • Future focused, looking at the long term, shaping our programs proactively to influence the institution.
    • Astute analysts of central administrators on their campuses, knowing what their philosophy is and how they think about your programs.
    • Respected by other deans
  • Tie what we do to broad issues.
  • Research must be assessed as excellent.
    • Faculty members should be members of national academies of . . . . Our profession has no academy members.
    • Competitive with grants from federal agencies
    • Faculty reviewers on federal grants
  • Practice must match philosophy and vision.

Compiled by: Stephen R. Jorgensen, Dean
College of Human Environmental Sciences
University of Missouri – Columbia
Virginia B. Vincenti, Professor
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
University of Wyoming

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